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Atletico the ‘toughest’ draw for Chelsea, says Lampard

Frank Lampard believes Chelsea have got the “toughest” draw possible after they were paired against Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Atletico were unbeaten in La Liga until losing to Real Madrid at the weekend and are level on points with leaders Real Sociedad.

They also beat Liverpool at this stage of the competition last year.

“I think most people will say [it’s the] toughest one we could have had, going on current form, European experience, where they are in the La Liga,” said Chelsea manager Lampard.

“But all draws are difficult in the Champions League. We have to have belief in ourselves. And when the game comes round you have to beat teams like that to win the Champions League. It is what it is.

Chelsea suffered a setback at the weekend as they were beaten 1-0 by Everton, but have the chance to bounce back quickly when they travel to Wolves on Tuesday.

“The Premier League is unforgiving, we saw that over the weekend and pretty much every matchday,” said Lampard.

“We weren’t at our top level Saturday and got beaten, that’s it. We’ve been on a really long unbeaten run, winning games, and we dropped it for a game. It’s absolutely on us to pick it up again straight away.

“We’ve been playing well, but I know the next game is always the most important one. This is the Premier League, you don’t go to teams like Everton and expect anything. We didn’t quite perform and we lost the game.

“I kept saying when people were touting us for the league, particularly after the Leeds game, that it’s a long race to win the league.

“I did it as a player, I understand lots of elements of it. There are difficult moments and one of those is losing a game and bouncing back quickly, which is what we want to do. And to sustain performances and results over a busy time, particularly like Christmas. So it’s up to us to try and do that.”

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